What comes first, the application or the database?

  • Ok, I am quite prepared to start a flame war over this silliness.

    "knowing the correct database to build should be a snap"

    Go back to school JJ B, then get a job and do some "real" work for a few years before starting into the group of -hugely- experienced people who this forum represents. Or for that matter, before starting into the uneducated neophytes of the DP, IT, IM, ITC... industry of whom I'm a representative.

    There are a number of threads on this site related to idiocy, perhaps the moderator could move this thread there, then if s/he wishes, ban me for my deliberately inflammatory statements.

    If I'm still live here after this post, then, JJ B, try building a group of tables that store international physical and postal addresses, with a perorg relationship (where the person and organisation are included), and each person can be represented in multiple organisations, with temporal integrity, and each organisation has multiple international postal or physical addresses, with temporal integrity, and each person has multiple international postal or physical addresses, with temporal integrity, in 5-normal then come back to this forum and demonstrate that "the correct database to build should be a snap".

    Else, oh I don't know, go and drink a quart of bourbon and hope the problems go away.

    But please please please, DO NOT implement "the correct database" for any commercial organisation, regardless of how much they want to pay you, on the the basis of the erroneous "knowledge" that you present here.

    Peter Edmunds ex-Geek

  • As for "buy off", go back up a few entries in this this thread, generally the UI is what is in the forefront of the the person signing off the development expenditure, not the normalisation of the data, nor the impact on the database or application servers, unless an over budget upgrade is required, nor the impact on other silo's data, nor the impact on the technical team.

    No ifs, no buts, no maybes, someone who is sufficiently into the marketing view that they have got to the point where they are signing off the expenses of major corporate development is not going to care what any techie says about long term, cross application data viability. Their job, probably 99% of the time, just will not sustain it, so it's up to the grunts to carry on and do the job correctly and hope that the UI is not so far from the currently available technology that a few months of unpaid overtime won't be able to fix the issues.

    Otherwise the marketers are going to be looking for roast geek at the next corporate didntwedogreat fest and the geeks will have to wait a little longer before inheriting the Earth.

    Peter Edmunds ex-Geek

  • Wow, Peter, I don't think JJ B deserved the intensity, you do make some valid points however.

    JJ B, It is possible for a data base to fall out of a prototype, but that has not been my experience.

    I think this discussion started with the premise that "we have the requirements, should we develop the app or the data base first", at least that is the way interpretted it. I do not think many successful company's develop apps or data bases and then say "hey!, let us go see who wants/needs/can use this".

    Livin' down on the cube farm. Left, left, then a right.

  • I think JJ B is over-sipmplifying a bit, but I think what he's getting at is similar to my experience.

    First you get the request, from which report layouts and display mock-ups get build (non- or semi- functional prototypes). From this the full requirements for data gets constructed, after which the database isn't quite "a snap", but is a fairly logical operation. Finally, or more often in parallel with the database build, the final application actually gets written.

    So, in a way, neither the application nor the database come first. The application starts first, but the database finishes first!


  • Ok, this disscussion has been great.

    Let's remember - Database or Application first; That is the question?

    I wish the business would know that question before trying to build solutions out of tools such as Microsoft SharePoint flat tables with zero relationships, but one big huge 100 + columned table, then ask the technical team to build reports from it. Fun fun fun...

    So then I ask the question, how do you tell the business that they should not be trying to build solutions without an custom application or database.

    🙂 CHEERS....

    By the way, I truley believe in having a project kick off once a Charter and Business Requirements Document is produced and that kick off includes

    Enterprise Architect


    Application Developer Lead

    Tester LEAD

    I believe it is esitial to have those folks in from the get go.

    That way you have everyone working together.

  • just because people are all in the same room and nodding their heads nicely doesn't mean they are working together. 🙂

    Livin' down on the cube farm. Left, left, then a right.

  • Tobar, I didn't get the title of Mr Diplomacy from several of New Zealand's larger coporates by being subtle. 🙂

    moojjoo, y'all jus redeemed yourself with the comment about sHAREPOINT (doesn't deserve a leading cap and has an overinflated opinion of its place in the market).

    All that's needed now is to overlay the sharepoint experience on to general application development and you'll find a representative of just about every evil that has inflicted development of moderately kosher systems since Windows itself (in spite of everything people may say to the contrary, I still think is does deserve a leading cap) introduced class concepts without rigorous polymorphic inheritance.

    C'mon, somebody bite.

    Peter Edmunds ex-Geek

  • I'm a lover, not a fighter. 🙂 Well, not really, but since Jacko is on the come back trail (ack, ack, thppbt) the phrase came to mind.

    Livin' down on the cube farm. Left, left, then a right.

  • Let's not get side-tracked. My main point is that it isn't a one-sided process, but an intertwined process.

    I didn't mean to hurt anyones feelings/ego. If building databases has been a very hard process for you, I'm sure you get the job done. No one is insulting your no-doubt expert hard work. I hope you get all the validation you need. Peace bro. Life is short.

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